Family creates 'blessing box' to help the Coldwater community

A Coldwater family is starting a community movement.

A Coldwater family is starting a community movement called a blessing box, stocked with items that many go without.

"I know that I personally put all of these in here," Katie Bontrager said.

From dried foods to diapers and deodorant, the small pantry is stocked with free food and hygiene items for anyone at any time.

"Our hope is to get the word out there so that other people can take that initiative upon themselves and expand this project even further," Bontrager said.

Katie Bontrager's husband built the blessing box. Most of the materials --- including the plexi-glass, paint and shingles - were donated.

The family of eight sought to kick off the new year by giving back to the community of Coldwater.

"I wish I could duplicate my husband, because we could probably have a box at every corner," Bontrager said.

For now, there is just one on Grand Street in Cathy North's front yard.

"I think it's awesome,” North said. "No one's going to be watching you, no one's going to be judging you. So if you need it, please take it."

It's what the sign says: Take what you need, leave what you can.

"As a community, we've come together to help others," North said.

Other communities are doing it, too.

The Bontrager’s first heard about the blessing box movement on Facebook, and they loved the idea.

No locks; no forms to fill out. Just a box that's emptied anonymously and re-stocked as needed.

"As a family we collected probably two box loads but I've been down here daily and have had to put things in daily which is great," Bontrager said.

It’s been working out so great that the family has received requests for eight more.

"This is, I think, a great way to kick off January," Bontrager said.

"Just to see that they're going to be all over and in different neighborhoods, that's amazing," North said.

For more information on the blessing box, check out their Facebook page.

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